Two weeks ago I had a lovely day in the city and it was the perfect day to visit the new Matisse Red Studio exhibition at MoMA. What a treat!!! The exhibition is small-ish – which is good – and has kind of two big rooms. We decided to keep the one with the main treasure namely the Red Studio for last and that was a perfect decision.
“Studio under the Eaves” 1903 – Matisse painted his studio and parts of it several times and that makes so much sense given that an artist studio is also an artist’s world. In this work the studio looks a little sad – while the look out of the window provides a look at a much more vibrant and fun world. Maybe this is in part because Matisse in his early career had soem personal and financial troubles and as we see…the artist world def. improved to a more vivid space later.
“Still Life with Geraniums” 1910 – in this painting we see some of the paintings – in his studio – but just peaks of it.
“The Blue Window” 1913 is actually a view out of his bedroom window onto his studio.
Nasturtiums with the Painting “Dance” I , 1912 – The flowers in the vase are the same as in the Painting of Red Studio – the leg of the table on which the vase stands seem to be connected with his painting in the background.
“Studio, Quai Saint-Michel” 1916
So brilliant ..the depiction of the model in his studio…as a painting.
“Large Red Interior” 1948
This connects to the Red Studio – the star of this exhibition to which we go next- from 1911 . This painting is actually his last finished oil painting.
OK- moving to the main star(s)
“The Red Studio” 1911
Matisse is said to have made his studio subject of his paintings whenever he wanted to explore about where he was in that particular moment of time with his art and life. The red studio didn’t start out as a red studio. The floor was pink, the wall was blue and the furniture was yellow. But after a month he made the decision and coated the surface excluding his artwork and objects of inspiration with Venetian Red. He said about his painting that he likes it but that he doesn’t understand his painting.
Gathered in the room are the artworks as far as they could be retrieved that are in the painting.
“Le Luxe II” 1907 –
I loved this painting which hasn’t been on display since the 60s.
“Upright Nude with Arched Back,” 1906-1907
“Female Nude” 1907 – Matisse worked for a year with a ceramicist and he loved the work. He was very interested in decorative art.
“Young Sailor II” 1906 –
“Nude with White Scarf” 1909
“Corsica, The Old Mill” 1898 – This painting was made when he was first married and he and his wife spend about six months in Corsica. Matisse would talk about the time in Corsica as being really transformative.
One painting that couldn’t be borrowed for the exhibition was the Large Nude because Matisse had asked that it would be destroyed after his death. Why we do not know. This is one of several studies of the painting.
It was a wonderful exhibition – what a beautiful idea to gather all those works, to also show other works with his studio as the subject – it was a great glimpse into his world. Makes me want to paint my studio as well :) Hope you liked this art stroll. If you have a chance to see this exhibition in person- go!!!